Lisa Marie Presley’s son Benjamin Keough, 27, has passed away

Benjamin Keough has died from what appears to be suicide. He was 27 years old, and best known as Lisa Marie Presley’s first son, and Riley Keough’s younger brother. He was unmarried and he is survived by his mother, his sister Riley and his half-siblings Harper and Finley.

Lisa Marie Presley’s son, Benjamin Keough, has died. He was 27. The star’s rep, Roger Widynowski, tells PEOPLE that Lisa Marie is “beyond devastated” over the death of her son, whom she shared with ex-husband Danny Keough.

“She is completely heartbroken, inconsolable and beyond devastated but trying to stay strong for her 11-year-old twins and her oldest daughter Riley,” Widynowski says. “She adored that boy. He was the love of her life.”

Presley is also mother to actress daughter Riley Keough, 31, and 11-year-old twin daughters, Harper and Finley, whom she shares with ex-husband Michael Lockwood.

According to a report from TMZ, Keough — the grandson of the late Elvis Presley — died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound on Sunday in Calabasas, California.

A spokesperson for the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment.

[From People]

In TMZ’s coverage, they talk about how Lisa Marie always said that Benjamin looked so much like her father, Elvis Presley. You can really see it in the photo of just the two of them – Benjamin really did get a lot of his grandfather’s face. People are sharing stories about how close Benjamin and Lisa Marie were as well. This is so heartbreaking. His poor family. Thoughts and prayers to them.

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80 Responses to “Lisa Marie Presley’s son Benjamin Keough, 27, has passed away”

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  1. Helen says:

    I wonder if he was a Scientologist as well. There’s conflicting reports about whether Lisa Marie still is, but Riley absolutely is still in the “church”

  2. smcollins says:

    What in the world is happening this morning?? Back to back posts announcing a death. My heart now also goes out to Lisa Marie and her family. RIP Benjamin. Heartbreaking.

  3. Caryn says:

    This must be absolutely devastating for Lisa Marie – she’s been through so much already. Wishing her & her family lots of strength!

    Just a quick note though – Ben is also survived by his father, musician Danny Keough who was Lisa Maries first husband. He has been very involved with his kids & stayed friendly with Lisa Marie throughout the years. Hoping both parents can support each other during this difficult time.

  4. Miss Margo says:

    He looks so sad in those photos. That poor boy. And if they were Scientologists, and perhaps wasn’t getting the proper help, it isn’t to say that that would have even been enough. Also, you can’t force someone to get help either. This is just all very sad.

    • BeanieBean says:

      That’s what I thought, too, that he looks so sad in these photos. And so much like Elvis, especially the eyes & nose.

    • Courtney B says:

      God, I’d forgotten about Scientology’s stance on mental health. :( I hope that doesn’t add to Lisa Marie’s grief as well. Parents already often carry a lot of guilt when a child kills themselves.

      • Jackie O'Glasses says:


      • Valiantly Varnished says:

        Lisa Marie left Scientology over a decade ago.

      • Courtney B says:

        Just that she (and her ex?) introduced them to the religion. If she left and he didn’t and then didn’t receive help because of the beliefs. Grief can really do a number on a person.

    • Esmom says:

      I agree , you can see the pain in his eyes. And he did look like his grandfather.

      I’d also add that easy access to firearms in this country is a huge contributing factor to deaths by suicide.

      • buenavissta says:

        As a person who lives with substantial mental health issues I can tell you that if you are suicidal, you don’t need a gun. I tried it with Tylenol and vodka. Intervention from a friend saved me. I don’t have access to a firearm but if I went off my meds, I’d find a way.
        I am so sad for everyone who knew and loved this man.

      • Sam the Pink says:

        This is actually not true – there is a large body of research looking at suicide, and it generally finds that firearm access does not meaningfully affect the overall RATE of suicide – basically, if a person is set on ending their own life, they are probably going to do it. The difference is that guns are more more accessible in the US, so they make up a larger percentage of suicide method here. But there is no real evidence that reducing access to guns would reduce the suicide rate overall.

      • Esmom says:

        I don’t want to get into a fight but I volunteer for a gun violence prevention org and there is loads of data that says easy access to firearms is a contributing factor. Yes, people who are determined will find a way but not having a gun at your fingertips is likely to buy critical time for intervention.

      • Jesma says:

        Yes some people will look for any means for suicide, and others won’t. Look at the actual numbers in the U.K. when you could no longer commit suicide via oven. The suicide rates when down especially among women.

        “A number of studies have indicated that when lethal means are made less available or less deadly, suicide rates by that method decline, and frequently suicide rates overall decline. This has been demonstrated in a number of areas: bridge barriers, detoxification of domestic gas, pesticides, medication packaging, and others.”

      • Jane says:

        Sam the Pink – that is actually incorrect. It is well documented that when fireguns are readily accessible, suicide rates go up. Suicide is higher in areas with a higher number of guns per capita. People do not make up for the increased availibility of guns with other methods.

  5. Lolo86lf says:

    This is terrible news! It is so hard to understand how people who are born so privileged can possibly take their own lives at 27 years of age. Poor Lisa Marie. She is going to have to live with this for the rest of her life.

    • ChillyWilly says:

      Mental illness and addiction don’t give a shit about socioeconomic status. It can come for any of us.

    • Calibration says:

      Omg are you kidding? That’s not only dumb it’s incredibly rude. Mental health doesn’t have a dollar value. How utterly stupid

      • Lolo86lf says:

        My point was not to be dumb or rude. Not all of us can be as smart and know it all as you.

      • Jackie O'Glasses says:

        I don’t think Lolo was trying to be rude. It’s hard to wrap your head around suicide. My brother suffers from severe depression, but lacks health insurance. It is very difficult for him to find proper resources for his illness. In that regard, it is “easier” for people with money to have access to the best doctors in the world. Of course mental illness doesn’t give a fuck what your socioeconomic status is. That’s why shit like this is so frustrating. There are no real answers. You didn’t have to be so shitty to Lolo.

      • Calibration says:

        In that point you’re right. You’re not smart and definitely have no idea about mental health

      • El says:

        Well, I’m sure now that you’ve belittled her, she will be better informed. I’m glad you got to feel superior.

      • Jaded says:

        @Calibration – there’s no need to be so aggressive. For many people it’s hard to understand depression or bipolar disorder unless you’ve lived it or are close to someone who has. I fell into a terrible depression in my early twenties and I wouldn’t wish that on anyone. It’s like a black hole where you feel nothing. You are nothing. Fortunately I got some therapy and came out of it.

      • Cinnamon says:

        Dang, easy on the overt hostility towards someone who acknowledges that for them this situation is hard to understand. Not everyone is a mental health expert and/or has experience living with mental illness. I’m not sure your reaction is the most productive way to help provide guidance and information but then again, I’m not sure you wanted to do anything but shame them. Sending you positivity, hope and love as it seems like you could use it.

    • FHMom says:

      All the money in the world can’t help you if you don’t want help. This is so very sad.

      • Esmom says:

        I don’t think it’s fair to assume he didn’t want help. Sometimes all the help in the world just still isn’t enough.

      • Jane says:

        Also, the disease makes one incapable of seeking help, bc it feels so hopeless that you can’t imagine anything helping.

    • Cate says:

      I am sorry but this is very misguided. Speaking from experience, you want to kill yourself to make the pain stop, to stop suffering. It’s not about money and things.

      I feel very sad for his family. I’m glad they have each other.

    • Jules says:

      Money does not buy happiness, it’s as simple as that. The eventual downfall of almost every celebrity shows you that.

    • Zoe says:

      Not sure why people think money or fame offer immunity from depression, addiction, or mental health issues. Those things don’t discriminate.

  6. Courtney B says:

    I thought at least one of the twins was a boy. I didn’t realize he was her only son. You obviously don’t love any child more than the others but there is often a special bond between mother and son. And that seems the case here too.

  7. ChillyWilly says:

    This is so sad. I lost my baby brother when he was 29 to a heroin overdose. We don’t know if it was accidental or not. It’s been 11 years now and I am still devastated by the loss. It destroyed my family. Love and peace to Lisa and Danny and Benjamin’s siblings. It’s very difficult to lose a sibling.

  8. Mia4s says:

    He really was a handsome young (young!) man. What a terrible loss!

  9. Tin says:

    My heart aches for Lisa Marie. My 21 year old son died two years ago this week from a brain hemorrhage. Right now, she is in physical pain, as in actual physical pain, from the grief. And once that eases, she has a lifetime of hell. She and I are the same age, so assuming we have normal life expectancies, she’s got more than thirty years left of this torture, but I think a lot of grieving moms die from their grief, not from suicide but from the toll it takes on your soul. Her money won’t help her with this at all.

    • Also Ali says:

      I’m so sorry for your loss, TIN.

      I have two sons and while I haven’t experienced the loss of a child, your description is exactly the hell I imagine it to be.

    • Esmom says:

      Tin, I’m so sorry about the loss of your son.

    • Christin says:

      I am so sorry.

    • megs283 says:

      Tin, I am so sorry for your loss. Sending you love. Take care of yourself this week.

    • FHMom says:

      I am so very sorry. It’s a parent’s worse nightmare. A big hug to you, Tin.

    • Dani says:

      I am so sorry for your loss. I agree that I think unfortunately parents die from grief. My maternal grandmother died 6 months after her oldest son passed away from a heart attack and my paternal grandmother died exactly a year after my father passed. Grief really can consume you. I hope you can stay strong. Big hugs.

    • ChillyWilly says:

      I am truly sorry, Tin. I know no words can make the pain go away but just know that many people know your pain and empathize. Love to you. 💜

    • Chaine says:

      @Tin, my heart goes out to you. It is unimaginable for a parent to lose a child.

    • justwastingtime says:

      Tin, I have a 21 year old son, I can’t imagine. So, so sorry for your loss.

  10. Lucy2 says:

    How incredibly sad. His family must be so devastated, and how terrible he was in so much pain.

  11. Jess says:

    My heart hurts for his family, but a part of me also feels relief for him, and I hope he found the peace he was looking for.

  12. Betsy says:

    What a horrible tragedy. The suicide in my family was one hundred years ago and it still ripples down through the years. Solace to these poor hurting people.

  13. Christin says:

    Ben also reminds me a lot of Gladys, Elvis’ mother. One of the twin girls has her features, but Ben had that sad, forlorn look that Gladys often had.

    Lisa Marie are the same age, and as a kid Elvis fan I feel like I have grown up with her. I have a soft spot where she is concerned and wish her peace and comfort.

    Much sympathy to all those experiencing acute grief.

  14. FHMom says:

    I don’t know if this is applicable here, but the pandemic has taken a horrible toll on young people’s health. I can see it in my depressed teen. My heart goes out to his family.

    • Turtledove says:

      I thought the same thing. I certainly don’t want to speculate on what Ben was going through. But in general, the pandemic and our current political climate is so awful, I would imagine that if you already suffered from depression, this surely was not helping.

  15. Mel says:

    To loose a family member or friend to suicide is horrible. My heart goes out to his whole family and to his close friends who are going through hell right now, its really scary to think I how many more people we might loose this way because of the pandemic.

  16. TyrantDestroyed says:

    This is beyond tragic. My mother just lost her elderly brother 2 weeks ago. He terminated his life too. My condolences to the family in this devastating moment.

  17. Sorella says:

    So sad, so young. For his entire family. For this sister to lose her only blood sibling. And him being Elvis’ only grandson. My heart goes out to Lisa Marie, she now has to live with this broken heart forever and she herself is fragile already.

  18. TeamMeg says:

    I was sad to read this this morning. Poor Lisa Marie. My heart goes out to the whole family.

  19. kelleybelle says:

    “Passed away?” He committed suicide. He shot himself. He has died by his own hand … he did not “pass away.” Please do not term violent, unfortunate death as “passing away.”

    • Lady D says:

      How does it harm you, especially if it brings comfort to someone grief stricken?

      • kelleybelle says:

        It doesn’t harm me at all but the “soft language is WAY overdone sometimes. He did not “pass away.” The sugarcoat isn’t necessary. Yes, it’s awful and tragic, but the soft language isn’t necessary. People are so afraid to say died. Happens all the time. People die. I’m a realist.

      • Tana says:

        no, kelleybelle, you’re not a realist, you’re just insensitive and rude. also, don’t tell people how to properly describe a death when you’re using the term “committed suicide” because you clearly don’t know that’s not an OK term anymore.

    • Jaded says:

      Please do not pontificate on what terms other people should use to describe the death of a beloved family member.

      • Amelie says:

        Yes this comment right here! You have no right to tell people how they choose to describe how a family member died.

      • ChillyWilly says:


      • Cinnamon says:

        Co-sign 100%. Good grief, I know we’re all living in challenging times but why choose to lash out at someone’s chosen phrasing over their sons death?

    • Giddy says:

      We lost a beloved grandson six years ago. I say we lost him, or he passed away. It still hurts beyond bearing, yet we go on. We have found ways to honor him, to remember him and the joy he brought us. But “soft language” is a gift I give to myself and to our whole family.

    • Jules says:

      Well, the statement from the family says he died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. They are being real about it and do not sugar-coat with saying he passed away.

    • TyrantDestroyed says:

      But Celebitchy is not part of the “red note” journalism. Why adding more violence and pain to an already tragic death? What a strange thing to get mad at. Allow people find solace however they can. If they want to use “pass away” it’s fine too.

    • Jane says:

      Kelley, I suppose this will make you sick, too – we don’t really say “committed suicide” anymore, bc it sounds like a conscious well-considered choice. But in the case of depression, the mental illness is so great that it is the illness that kills you, same as any other disease. One dies OF suicide now.

  20. Amelie says:

    This is so tragic. Also poor Benjamin is now another member of the “27 club” people refer to. It doesn’t seem much is known about Benjamin, unlike his sister Riley who is more of a public figure as she has done some modeling and a lot of acting. We can only speculate what he was dealing with, but I have to think that growing up in Elvis Presley’s shadow had to be daunting, especially as the sole grandson. It often seems tragedy seems to follow the descendants of a legendary icon. It also probably didn’t help that his mom and the media always compared how he looked physically to his grandfather. That’s a lot for a kid to listen to growing up, especially once they realized just how iconic their ancestor was. And he probably knew he’d never grow up to be just like his grandfather, but there was probably some kind of expectation for him to go into the music business. It’s all so incredibly tragic.

    Obviously I have no idea if any of what I just said is true. But sometimes I wonder how Lisa Marie has dealt with the fame of being Elvis’s only child. I’m sure she struggled and has had substance abuse issues herself (could explain why she gravitated to Scientology as a way to get away from the negative influences in her life as they promise people to get rid of those kinds of temptations). But I think she was also very lucky she was born female and not male. I can’t imagine the kind of pressure if Elvis’s sole heir were male.

  21. KellyRyan says:

    Tears for Lisa’s loss of a child. One never fully recovers. Always the question, “What could I have done to create a different outcome.”

  22. Zoe says:

    How much loss can one person take?! Lisa Marie found her father dead as a child. Her last husband and her manager bankrupted her (and she was once a multi-millionaire). Her music career never took off. She got out of a cult. She has spent the last few years fighting for her life in rehab trying to get herself together. She is so desperate for financial help that normally private Lisa has been in the process of releasing a tell-all book to try to recover some finances. Now, her son commits suicide. I have been rooting for Lisa Marie for years. If you have seen photos of her the last years she has looked terrible. Definitely not doing well, and that was before this. I had hopes she might get better since she was going to rehab and not go down the tragic path of her father and late husband, but I can’t imagine what she will do now that such a big part of her life is gone. They were supposedly very close. I am so sad for her. I hope she can be strong for her daughters, and that her eldest Riley can be there for her. She has had so many rough years, bad luck, and tragedy overall :(

  23. Tin says:

    There is a movement to not use the phrasing “commit suicide” because of the connotation associated with a crime. Because I am a bereaved mom, I have met many other moms. My son did not kill himself, but I have been told by these moms whose children did, that the correct language to use is died by suicide or killed himself. Thank you.

    • Christin says:

      Thank you for sharing this. I never thought about the connotation of the word “commit”.

  24. Lea says:

    He was not a Scientologist anymore and had actually been to rehab for substance abuse not too long ago (a legit rehab, not a Scientology one). He did say though, according to Tony Ortega’s blog, that he felt like growing up in the CO$ messed him up.

    Knowing that addiction can be hereditary, that both his mother and grandfather were/are addicts and that he grew up in a not-so-nurturing cult and that his family life didn’t seem that stable (Lisa Marie married Michael Jackson but she admitted that her kids found him scary, and she’s been in a bitter custody battle with the father of her twins for years now, and since his dad and sister Riley are in the CO$ and not him, they probably have very limited contact), you have a recipe for a very complicated life.
    I feel sorry for him and his family who probably loved him very much.

  25. Lisa says:

    So sad. I hope Lisa gets through it.